skip to content


Issue No. 41 | October 9, 2009

News and Features

VRC Updates Screening Form for Potential Volunteers

The Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has posted a new confidential screening form to help interested people determine if they are eligible to volunteer for clinical research studies.
Clinical research studies are vital to developing vaccines that ease human suffering; can potentially prevent a pandemic; and, in many cases, save lives. The mission of the VRC is to conduct research that facilitates the development of effective vaccines for human disease. The primary focus of this research is the development of vaccines for HIV/AIDS. 

More information is available:

Study Uses Novel In Vitro Model of HIV-1 Latency to Identify Compounds that Reverse Latency Without Cellular Activation

“The development of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to treat individuals infected with HIV-1 has dramatically improved patient outcomes, but HAART still fails to cure the infection. The latent viral reservoir in resting CD4+ T cells is a major barrier to virus eradication…. We describe here the development of what we believe to be a novel in vitro model of HIV-1 latency that we used to search for compounds that can reverse latency…. Unlike previously described latency-reversing agents, 5HN activated latent HIV-1 through ROS and NF-kappaB without affecting nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) and PKC, demonstrating that TCR pathways can be dissected and utilized to purge latent virus. Our study expands the number of classes of latency-reversing therapeutics and demonstrates the utility of this in vitro model for finding strategies to eradicate HIV-1 infection.”

More information is available:

Immune-Suppressed HIV Patients are at Risk of Seven Types of Cancer

“The weakened immune systems of people with HIV [put] them at increased risk for at least seven types of cancer, but early diagnosis and treatment of HIV infection could help delay the onset of some of these cancers, a new study suggests.

“French researchers examined the incidence of three AIDS-defining cancers (Kaposi's sarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and cervical cancer) and four non-AIDS-defining cancers (Hodgkin's lymphoma, lung cancer, liver cancer and anal cancer) in 52,278 HIV-infected people….

“Overall, immunodeficiency increased the risk of all the cancers, and CD4 cell count was the most predictive risk factor for all the cancers except anal cancer. The cancer risk associated with viral load was lower than that associated with immunodeficiency, the researchers noted….

“The study authors called for effective cancer-specific screening programs for HIV patients and said all HIV-positive women should be regularly offered cervical cancer screening.”

More information is available: